# Tips for Analysis of Argument/Critical Reasoning

Hi All, The Analysis of an Argument section on the GMAT and the Critical Reasoning section are based on the following fundamental precincts: 1. Association-Causation Issue: This basically refers to ascribing causation relation to an event …

Hi All,
The Analysis of an Argument section on the GMAT and the Critical Reasoning section are based on the following fundamental precincts:

1. Association-Causation Issue: This basically refers to ascribing causation relation to an event merely because it precedes another in time-sequence. In CR, the relevance of this topic lies in cleverly exposing an argument through exact identification of the cause. Most CR questions based on this principle try to trap you into believing that an event led to another when there is a clear caveat albeit conceited. Strike at this aspect and you would hit the correct choice.
On the AWA/Analysis, try to see whether a purported measure for improvement of a scheme/argument would actually result in the said improvements. You would be able to write at least 2-3 paragraphs on Analysis by following this line of thought.

2. The fallacy of Composition: The misguided notion that what holds good for the particular is as well good for the general. More difficult questions on the GMAT tend to use some variation of this principle. Whenever you see a CR/Analysis-AWA check whether the sample presented is representative of general population - that is, whether the extrapolation from the particular to the general is scientifically tenable.

3. The Ceteris-Paribus Assumption: Ceteris-Paribus means "assuming that all other parameters are unchanged". This is also called the Fallacy of Analogy. Thus, there might be a gentle, so very subtle twist in a situation that renders parallels with another situation invalid. The twist here is to find exactly what causes the twist.

You should have no difficulty in exposing any argument by subjecting it to a rigorous test based on the above points. CR is purely this: Refined Common Sense. In CR, it is also especially important not to "over-analyse" a situation. Do not assume anything that is not as conspicuous as "1+1 = 2" on the CR.

Finally, to excel at CR and by extension in Argument Analysis do tons of practice problems. There is no substitute to good ol' practice.
On later stages of your practice, once these principles are well-entrenched in your lexicon, subject yourself to intense time-pressure. This way you should be able to come out well even if you face time-pressure on the Real One.

An added bonus is the fact that you would discover that your powers of reasoning would have increased signficantly once you put yourself through the rigour of GMAT preparation.
The principles you learn in the CR section of the GMAT would stand in good stead in any refined discussion regardless of the topic.!!!

Regards,
vin.